Cabernet Sauvignon has a reputation for being an expensive wine. Fortunately, there are affordable bottles of Cabernet that are well received by critics and/or consumers. The wines are accessible, easy to drink, and display the classic characteristics of Cabernet Sauvignon.
Cabernet Sauvignon is considered by many wine drinkers to be the King of Wine, and is the red wine drinker’s main choice to pair with food.
Although Americans tend to drink more Merlot than any other red wine, Cabernet Sauvignon is the most popular wine sold in restaurants for dinner as most hearty meats and dishes pair well with Cabernet Sauvignon.
Dark berry and cassis aromas are the hallmark scents of a classic Cabernet followed by earthy, vegetal nuances. A typical Cab will offer sweet green pepper or vegetal aromas with great toasted vanilla oak coffee, chocolate, and butterscotch flavors.
Fortunately, you don’t have to mortgage the house to buy a good Cab. There are some fabulous Cabs to look for under $25:
Rodney Strong Sonoma County Cabernet. This basic Cabernet is consistent year in and year out, with classic vanilla and subtle spice accenting the ripe berry and dark cassis fruit. There are plenty of ripe berries and currant flavors in this red. It’s a delicious wine for that’s hard to beat at just under $15 locally.
Geyser Peak Winery Alexander Valley Cabernet consistently produces intense, lively wines that are nicely supported by restrained oak. This wine is wonderfully lush, soft and smooth on the palate with ripe dark berried fruit flavors seamlessly oozing into spice and vanilla. The fine-grained tannins are perfect for those who don’t enjoy heavy tannins often found in other Cabernets. Blackberry and cherry are followed by graceful notes of dark chocolate and black pepper melding into a persistent, lingering finish. At around $18 a bottle locally, this is good wine to pair with freshly grilled sirloin.
Katherine Goldschmidt Crazy Creek Vineyards Cabernet. Deliciously rich in blackberries, currants and chocolate, this is really one of the best values in Cabernet on the market. This structured and elegant quality Cab from Nick Goldschmidt has received 91 Points from Wine Enthusiast, been ranked #11 on Marketview’s 2012 Top 100, and it still sells for under twenty dollars throughout the Jersey Shore.
This wine's bouquet abounds with black cherry, black raspberry and currant, with hints of leather and cedar. The tannic structure and hints of oak are nicely integrated making this wine smooth and easy to drink. There is good acidity without astringency, and the balanced fruit carries through to the finish.
As always, this list is just a starting point. Half the fun is exploring and discovering a gem that you too can share with friends and family. Enjoy!
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